Monday, June 30, 2008
Sunday, June 29, 2008
Saturday, June 28, 2008
1Co 6:19 Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own?
1Co 6:20 For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body.
Friday, June 27, 2008
Painting Left At Goodwill Auctions For $40,000
POSTED: 9:22 am PDT June 26, 2008
EASTON, Md. -- An old painting dropped off at a rural Maryland Goodwill store turned out to be a work by a French Impressionist. And now, thanks to the sharp eye of a store employee, the charitable organization is $40,000 richer.
The Parisian street scene, left at the store in March along with daily donations of pots, pans, old clock radios and other items, turned out to be a work by Edouard-Leon Cortes, probably from the early 20th century.
The painting -- called "Marche aux fleurs" or "Flower Market" -- was sold for $40,600 at a Sotheby's auction a few weeks ago.
"It could have very easily ended up put in a pile, marked for $20," says Ursula Villar, marketing and development director for Goodwill Industries of the Chesapeake Inc.
Store manager Terri Tonelli said employees asked her to look at the donated painting because they suspected it was valuable. She found the artist's name on Google and discovered that Cortes was a notable French Impressionist whose work had sold at auction for prices near $60,000.
If the owner of the painting wants the money, he or she may be out of luck. Goodwill says it doesn't keep track of donors. Donations, meanwhile, are gifts that are considered legal and final transactions.
Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All rights reserved.
Thursday, June 26, 2008
One of our friends in the church just got back from a vacation in Hawaii. Before she went I asked her to find some raw Kona coffee beans, and I'm blessed to hear that she has! She is bringing them by today. I can't tell you how excited I am to get some raw Kona beans. In case I haven't mentioned it I roast my own coffee beans, and to get a great bean like this is a treat. There is nothing like fresh roasted coffee. I'm convinced that coffee is one of the foods that wasn't cursed in the fall (just kidding.) So, I will report back to you on the results of this quest for Kona!
Wednesday, June 25, 2008
On the changing shores of time,
The World was singing a giddy song,
And the Church a hymn sublime.
“Come, give me your hand,” said the merry World,
“And walk with me this way!”
But the faithful Church hid her gentle hands
And solemnly answered “Nay!
I will not give you my hand at all,
And I will not walk with you;
Your way is the way that leads to death;
Your words are all untrue.”
“Nay, walk with me but a little space,”
Said the World with a kindly air;
“The road I walk is a pleasant road,
And the sun shines always there.
Your path is thorny and rough and rude,
But mine is broad and plain;
My way is paved with flowers and dews,
And yours with tears and pain.
The sky to me is always blue,
No want, no toil I know;
The sky above you is always dark,
Your lot is a lot of woe.
There’s room enough for you and me
To travel side by side.”
Half shyly the Church approached the World
And gave him her hand of snow;
And the old World grasped it and walked along,
Saying, in accents low:
“Your dress is too simple to please my taste;
I will give you pearls to wear,
Rich velvets and silks for your graceful form,
And diamonds to deck your hair.”
The Church looked down at her plain white robes,
And then at the dazzling World,
And blushed as she saw his handsome lip
With a smile contemptuous curled.
“I will change my dress for a costlier one,”
Said the Church, with a smile of grace;
Then her pure white garments drifted away,
And the World gave, in their place,
Beautiful satins and shining silks,
Roses and gems and costly pearls;
While over her forehead her bright hair fell
Crisped in a thousand curls.
“Your house is too plain,” said the proud old World,
“I’ll build you one like mine;
With walls of marble and towers of gold,
And furniture ever so fine.”
So he built her a costly and beautiful house;
Most splendid it was to behold;
Her sons and her beautiful daughters dwelt there
Gleaming in purple and gold.
Rich fairs and shows in the halls were held,
And the World and his children were there.
Laughter and music and feasts were heard
In the place that was meant for prayer.
There were cushioned seats for the rich and the gay,
To sit in their pomp and pride;
But the poor who were clad in shabby array,
Sat meekly down outside.
“You give too much to the poor,” said the World.
“Far more than you ought to do;
If they are in need of shelter and food,
Why need it trouble you?
Go, take your money and buy rich robes,
Buy horses and carriages fine;
Buy pearls and jewels and dainty food,
Buy the rarest and costliest wine.
My children, they dote on all these things,
And if you their love would win
You must do as they do, and walk in the ways
That they are walking in.”
So the poor were turned from her door in scorn,
And she heard not the orphan’s cry;
But she drew her beautiful robes aside,
As the widows went weeping by.
Then the sons of the World and the Sons of the Church
Walked closely hand and heart,
And only the Master, who knoweth all,
Could tell the two apart.
Then the Church sat down at her ease, and said,
“I am rich and my goods increase;
I have need of nothing, or aught to do,
But to laugh, and dance, and feast.”
The sly World heard, and he laughed in his sleeve,
And mockingly said, aside:
“The Church is fallen, the beautiful Church;
And her shame is her boast and her pride.”
The angel drew near to the mercy seat,
And whispered in sighs her name;
Then the loud anthems of rapture were hushed,
And heads were covered with shame.
And a voice was heard at last by the Church
From Him who sat on the throne:
“I know thy works, and how thou hast said,
‘I am rich, and hast not known
That thou art naked, poor and blind,
And wretched before my face;’
Therefore from my presence cast I thee out,
And blot thy name from its place.”
by Matilda C. Edwards
Best Loved Poems (Garden City, NY: Garden City Publishing, 1936), pages 345-347
Tuesday, June 24, 2008
Monday, June 23, 2008
By Dean Goodman
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) -
"Comedian George Carlin, a counter-culture hero famed for his routines about drugs, dirty words and the demise of humanity, died of heart failure at a Los Angeles-area hospital on Sunday. He was 71." In an interview with Reuters in 2001 George said this, "I don't have any beliefs or allegiances. I don't believe in this country, I don't believe in religion, or a god, and I don't believe in all these man-made institutional ideas,"
As a kid I really loved George's comedy. In those early days it was still "family friendly," but as he aged his comedy became crude and offensive. I'm sorry to hear that he died.
John wrote these words about men like George, John 3:36 "He who believes in the Son has eternal life; but he who does not obey the Son will not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him."
I hope, in his last days, George did come to faith, but if not he faces a sad eternity. It grieves me to think about a life lived without Christ and then an eternity without life.
Life is short, eternity is long. Heaven and hell are real. The bible is true. There is only one way to life and that is faith in Jesus Christ alone. I wish I could have talked to George before he died, it might not have done any good, but I don't want anyone to face eternity without life.
We need to be clear and passionate about this one thing- Caution-Eternity is ahead! Don't enter it without life!
Sunday, June 22, 2008
Here is Matt's latest video. Again, a lot of fun. How do the rest of us get a gig like this? I can't dance either, but no one is offering to fund my trip around the world to dance poorly. Oh well, I'll just not dance here in Texas.
Saturday, June 21, 2008
Here are a few of those people God loves.... The ones Jesus died for.
Friday, June 20, 2008
Thursday, June 19, 2008
I love to watch fish swim, it's such an amazing thing to see a world so removed from us. The beauty of God's creation in the oceans is awe inspiring. There is nothing more soothing to me than to simply watch fish swimming by.....it is a wonderful way to worship the God who made it all. How amazing he is, how creative, how inventive, how fascinating....he's thought of creatures we put in tanks and pay to see. Watching fish a way to worship God? YES, of course....hey, let's go to Japan and spend some time watching fish!
Wednesday, June 18, 2008
Gen 18:10 He said, "I will surely return to you at this time next year; and behold, Sarah your wife will have a son." And Sarah was listening at the tent door, which was behind him.
Gen 18:11 Now Abraham and Sarah were old, advanced in age; Sarah was past childbearing.
Gen 18:12 Sarah laughed to herself, saying, "After I have become old, shall I have pleasure, my lord being old also?"
Gen 18:13 And the LORD said to Abraham, "Why did Sarah laugh, saying, 'Shall I indeed bear a child, when I am so old?'
Gen 18:14 "Is anything too difficult for the LORD? At the appointed time I will return to you, at this time next year, and Sarah will have a son."
Tuesday, June 17, 2008
Monday, June 16, 2008
Sunday, June 15, 2008
Jer 27:4 "Command them to go to their masters, saying, 'Thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, thus you shall say to your masters,
Jer 27:5 "I have made the earth, the men and the beasts which are on the face of the earth by My great power and by My outstretched arm, and I will give it to the one who is pleasing in My sight.
It struck me that I live in a culture that has the perception that WE decide who is in charge. In fact that's not the case at all. God says over and over in the Bible that he places the leaders in place he wants, but what frightens us is seeing WHO he places in leadership. After the words above are these-
Jer 27:6 "Now I have given all these lands into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, My servant, and I have given him also the wild animals of the field to serve him.
It was hard for the people of Israel to understand how God could do such a thing. Nebuchadnezzar was very violent, cruel and wicked ruler. His exploits are legendary. I know my question to Jeremiah would have been, "how can God do that?" I often forget that God has a divine plan and is bringing that plan to it's final chapter. The best news to me in our time is not that the next leader of our country is a republican or democrat, but that God is in charge. That makes me smile, even when I don't know how we will ever survive the leader of the day......God is in charge.
Oh, and in case it's not clear he's in charge of his church as well. Having a sovereign God is a very comforting thing.
Saturday, June 14, 2008
It's early Saturday morning and I just got back from seeing our Mexico mission trip off. This morning, at 4:30am, 80 people gathered to go to Mexico to build homes for people who don't have a decent place to live. What an amazing family the church is! Every day there are churches around the world reaching out to help others in need. In fact hospitals, soup kitchens, universities and a hundred other helps services were all started by the church of Jesus Christ.
Here's what's amazing to me about our trip this morning-
-each person raised their own support (which included part of the building cost)
-each of them took a week of their own time to go to a dusty, dry part of Mexico and work to help someone else
-all of them were at the church at 4:30 this morning to ride for 12 hours to serve others
-they will be sleeping in tents all week to build a house for someone else
-most of these people have done this trip before and love it
-they are all excited when they return because they were able to help someone else
-did I mention that most of the people on this trip are teenagers?
What an amazing family the church of Jesus Christ is! Having been on many mission trips it's always amazing to see that on every trip people are sacrificing of their time and money to help someone else. There is no other group of people on planet earth like the church of Jesus Christ. The church, reaching out in love as Christ commanded, has made a tremendous difference in the lives of millions. Today I'm excited to be part of such an amazing family- the Church of Jesus Christ!
Friday, June 13, 2008
You've heard the expression, "sicker than a dog?" That was me. I found myself suffering from food poisoning. The food induced illness triggered other problems, and I was miserable. I'm feeling better today, but things like these are always opportunities for object lessons to me. I really trusted the restaurant I went to on that day, and enjoyed the meal little knowing that it would make me miserably ill for the next 3 days. I trusted the restaurant to give me good food, and because they failed I suffered. (I'm still a little ill today, but getting better.)
Many of you have had food poisoning, so I don't need to go into details on the results, but it's not fun.
So let me use this horrible experience to make a spiritual application- what you "eat" spiritually does matter. You may trust the source, but it might make you ill. There's a lot of "food" (ideas, truths, teachings) being offered that are good for you and will make you grow, but there is much being offered that will make you sick spiritually. You take in the nourishment with great enjoyment only to find soon afterward that you have been made ill by it. The problem with spiritual food poisoning is that you may not know how sick you are from the "food" (ideas, teaching) you have consumed. It's easy to eat from a dumpster thinking it's great stuff if you don't know any better. But when you get good food then the "bad stuff" becomes evident. There needs to be a reliable food source that we can measure the rest by, and there is...the bible is the one food supply that always offers good food for the hungry soul. It's also a great measuring stick to evaluate all other food offered to you. If the "meal" being offered doesn't line up with what the word of God offers then there is a real good chance it will make you sick. So be careful where you go for your nourishment. There is wonderful food available, but there is also much that will make you miserable. Be careful where you go for your "spiritual meals." It will affect you for good or for ill.
Wednesday, June 11, 2008
Today I find myself at home, ill, trying to rest and recover. I'm also aware that my mental gas tank is quite empty. I am constantly pouring fuel in- time in the bible, reading several great books, but I find that I feel very empty headed....out of gas. I have several things I am working on, thoughts I'm developing, personal issues I'm working through and should be back at full speed soon, so thanks for your patience.
Monday, June 09, 2008
Here is one more photo from our Arkansas adventure. Our purpose for the trip was to see Joye's parents and brothers. Here is a great photo of Joye and her dad. He had just gotten back from a double radiation treatment the day before for thyroid cancer and we weren't supposed to be within 6 feet of him, but we ignored the rules for a moment here and there to get a hug or a photo. (Although he did seem to have a funny glow about him.) Joye's dad and his wife have built a great mountain retreat near Mountain Home, Arkansas and we took a long day to drive through the Arkansas mountains to see them. (He's doing great by the way.)
Wednesday, June 04, 2008
Family is important, and it's been a great visit....listening to stories of their childhood, the trouble they got into, the things they did together and to each other. Over and over their mom would say, "I didn't know you did that!" It was fun.
As I think about our time here I'm also reading 1 Chronicles. It's a hard book to read for the first 11 chapters because it's the Chronicle of Israel's history. Here's a short sample:
1Ch 1:1 Adam, Seth, Enosh,
1Ch 1:2 Kenan, Mahalalel, Jared,
1Ch 1:3 Enoch, Methuselah, Lamech,
1Ch 1:4 Noah, Shem, Ham and Japheth.
1Ch 1:5 The sons of Japheth were Gomer, Magog, Madai, Javan, Tubal, Meshech and Tiras.
1Ch 1:6 The sons of Gomer were Ashkenaz, Diphath, and Togarmah.
1Ch 1:7 The sons of Javan were Elishah, Tarshish, Kittim and Rodanim.
1Ch 1:8 The sons of Ham were Cush, Mizraim, Put, and Canaan.
It's funny how a passage of scripture will fit with a time in life. Here we are with people who are important to us, but no one else would know them if they passed them on the street. In this brief passage, which is rather boring really, is a list of people just like us who lived their lives, loved their families, told stories on each other and have now been all but forgotten except for their names written in the text of the Bible. People are important, but not for the reason most of us think. People are important because they are important to God. To God the value of each name, each person is priceless and is never forgotten. Although I will be all but forgotten to those living 100 years from now I will never be forgotten by God. He remembers every name, every life. Their stories, their sorrows and joys matter to him.
So, having written this I plan to slow down a little as I read 1 Chronicles. A list of names and lives I will never know, yes.....but lives that matter to God and have not been forgotten, absolutely! Amazingly it's reassurance to me that I am not forgotten by my creator either. I don't need to leave a memorial of my life, put my name on buildings, make sure I'm not forgotten....God will remember, and that's enough for me.
Sunday, June 01, 2008
So here area few things that have happened during these 10 years-
-both of our kids have gotten married.
-our daughter and her husband have had 4 of the most beautiful children I have ever seen!
-our church grew from a few hundred to nearly 2,000.
-we went through a major "earthquake" as a church and survived it.
-a number of our church family have gone off to the mission field, that has been great to see.
-5 years ago we moved into our new church home. It's been a great facility, and is starting to feel like home.
-we have helped a number of the churches in our area grow through our earthquake time. It's something we prayed for, but didn't anticipate it happening this way.
-I have been busy helping other pastors with their ministries by encouragement and support. It's been a blessing to me to invest in their lives.
-we have a new teaching pastor. He's a great guy, and I really enjoy working with him.
There's a lot more for the list, but may I simply tell you how blessed I feel to have been part of this church family for these years. It has been a highlight of my life, and I can't wait to see what the next 10 years brings.......